Friday, December 5, 2008


Wired The Fourth Amendment's shield against invasive searches reaches only partially across the border, a federal appeals court ruled, finding that the nation's spies don't need a court order to wiretap an American overseas, though there has to be a good reason for listening in. . . The unsigned opinion found that wiretapping overseas was invasive, but that it made no sense to require a court order to wiretap or search an American overseas, since the warrant would have "dubious legal significance" in another country. The test, the court says, is whether the search is reasonable.

Guardian, UK - A Hertfordshire couple in their 60s were horrified to receive a letter last week from a London firm of lawyers accusing them of downloading a hardcore gay porn movie. It demanded they pay L503 for "copyright infringement" or face a high court action. . . The bewildered couple contacted Guardian Money. "We were offended by the title of the film. We don't do porn - straight or gay - and we can't do downloads. We have to ask our son even to do an iTunes purchase." But this Hertfordshire couple are not alone. A large number of people have received this letter, provoking a massive outcry on web forums such as and torrentfreak which estimate 25,000 of these letters have been sent out. If all the recipients paid up, it would net L12.5m - more than almost any porn film has made.

Get Up, Australia - The Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter internet traffic and block any material the Government deems 'inappropriate'. Under the plan, the Government can add any 'unwanted' site to a secret blacklist. Testing has already begun on systems that will slow our internet by up to 87%, make it more expensive, miss the vast majority of inappropriate content and accidentally block up to one in 12 legitimate sites.


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